Jazz and miscellaneous Knowledge

(3) Chord Symbol
- in Japanese -@

Jelly Roll Morton
To express the chord of the back of a melody using chord symbol is a wisdom of Jazz.

Jelly Roll Morton invented this. Since usual classic musicians have not received training improvised performance with a chord symbol. Unless it writes all notes on a score, usually they cannot perform. However, the cadenza was improvisatorially performed in the Mozart era. It is wonder that there was an improvisation also in classical music from old days as used in the field of jazz.

We remind that the nobility of Europe enjoyed to let their musicians to improvise music in the Middle Ages. Although we think ourselves Jazz is interesting, however classic music has passed through numbers of times as many history as this. Therefore, the back of classic music is deep. Try to find a guide into tomorrow by taking lessons from the past.

My daughter who can play well Tschaikovsky or Chopin, but she cannot play piano by chord symbol. Sometimes she buys piano score of Jazz, but once I ask her to play it in a ballad in the first chorus and 2nd chorus in four beats, then she gives up it.

It is enough if there is "Melody+chord" for Jazz musicians. It is left how to expand and play the chords to a player. This is differ from classic music concept. Therefore, not only Jazz musicians play a song in different style, but also they plays different piece in each time to play it.

Of course, although all are written to a score and carry out a just-like-that performance in the Jazz orchestra, when turning the solo, only a chord symbol is seen and an ad lib performance is carried out. Therefore, we don't know in advance what phrase jumps out. Chord symbol is great, isn't it?

The sax players sit in the first row of the big band. The first player seems to be a intelligent player who is strong with scores, the second player seems to be a different type plyer who is atrong in ad lib. Various individuality can be required for orchestra and they can be united.

Hawaiian music was firmly in fashion from the prewar days to the postwar period in Japan. The modern guys at that time could play an Ukulele immediately. They are now at very high middle ages. The chord of Hawiian music is quite simple. if they learn C, D7, F, G7, A7 then it's enough to sing many songs. Also in Pops, you can sing many songs by C, Am, Dm7, G7 so-called circulation chords.

Bm7b5 ,E7b9b5, A7b9add13 and Ddim9. How about this? They are very puzzling. Such as Fm7/Bb seems to be a fraction in mathematics, When Morton invented the chord symbol, such a symbol should not meet. It is the harmony after Be Bop arised in the 40s and modernization of jazz called a West Coast and Cool Jazz progressed, Incidentally, a chord called dim9 (diminish 9th) is used for the first time, when Dizzy Gillespie performed "Bye Bye Blues" in 1940.

There had been a concept of non-consonance also in classical music from before 100 years when jazz was born, or 300 years or more. However, non-consonance must only come out transiently and must be solved to consonance. That is, it is not fundamentally allowed on harmonics that a phrase and the music itself finish while sound had collided with a seminote or whole tone. When a music is in a major key, it must finish by surely DO, MI, SO, and in a minor key, to finish it as RA, DO, MI. This is the common sense written in the textbook

By the reason some persons called avant-garde also to pure music are, music which is purposely protruded from such a commonsense frame is composed. Those to whom any fields try a new thing are born. This is a good thing. Whether it remains or not will be dependent on future generations.

Such a movement is common also in the world of fine arts, the world of calligraphy, or the world of technology. Not him but others evaluate. It may also be the man in future generations. However, I want to say "it must not carry out running to an avant-garde way, not knowing a commonsense or not studying." The sketchs and the realistic pictures of Picaso in early days are also extremely wonderful. If there is an opportunity to go to Barcelona, Spain, I reccomend you to visit the "Picasso Museum" by all means. You can feel the great life of Picasso itself.

Tetsuharu Kawakami, a famous former director of Tokyo Giants used to coarch many boys baseball players, and always said "The most important thing is the foundations." A new thing in any worlds is realized on the foundations.

Well, we enjoy making a phrase and music finish while it has been unstable tenssion chord. I want to emphasize Jazz is advanced music. Studying of Jazz chord will change how to enjoy jazz again. I remember a senior having roared out saying, "Don't sing the 6th. note!", when getting into mischief in the classic chorus by making the sound of 6th chord during practice, long long ago. The scatterbrain also did.

  Index       Previous Next